Thursday, February 05, 2009

Pointless Fun Final (But Not Really)

Felt like making another single-game PF post. This edition's star is White Butterfly, a slightly abstracted shmup. You've got a selection of five ships (one requiring beating the game to unlock) with a variety of weapons. Your attack power increases as you use the various weapons, but your overall power is determined by your weakest weapon, so you have to use all three of your ship's weapons equally.

First ship is the titular White Butterfly. It's the most straightforward. Weapon one is a dual rapid fire blaster, two is a charged cannon, and three is homing shots. If you press Fire 1 while charging with Fire 2, you get homing shots in a spray, rather than one at a time. Kind of weak from my experience, especially the homing shots.

Second is the Anemone, which has a slow firing front cannon, a short range, powerful energy blade that spins around the ship, and a slower, weaker long range blade. Takes a bit of getting used to, and it comes in handy that all the ships don't take damage from collisions with enemies so you can get all up in their face and blade from the inside as long as you don't sit on top when they fire shots.

Third is Spinneret, which I hate, but have been able to beat Normal on. First weapon is some threads that slowly extend upwards, but form a solid wall of shot that'll hit enemies that cross it. Downside is that they cut the thread short when they do, so that can limit its range. Second weapon from pressing both fire buttons is a wide spray of orb shots. Good for dealing with lots of small enemies. Third weapon is a bit awkward: A pair of reloading bombs. They're short range, and there's a delay in detonation. Good thing they've got a decent punch.

Fourth is my personal favorite for innovation is the Hand of Xom. The first weapon is a pair of cannons that sweep left and right. The second and third weapon are the "hand" orb. There's a circle a little ahead of the ship that locks onto enemies, causing the hand to chase them down. That's the closed hand. The third weapon is the open hand, which stops the orb in place and inflicts high damage. Trick with this ship is that you have to be brave enough to get in enemy's faces to lock on. It often takes having an intuitive sense of what path the hand'll take between enemies. It was the first ship I beat Normal with.

Fifth is Chaos Squid, which takes a bit of getting used to (and it's a bit more vicious now that I know I can fly inside enemies). Launching, controlling, and retrieving its orb can be a hassle. First weapon is a forward spray of shots you fire when the orb is docked. Second weapon is a pair of orb-seeking shots that travel in weird ways depending on the "gravity" of the orb when they pass it. The third weapon is direct orb damage: Either launched into an enemy, or from the two rings of orbiting energy balls around your ship when you've got the orb docked. This is pretty powerful when you're inside an enemy. Just now beat Normal with it.

Anyway, I thought this was a well done shooter, and I think I'll be looking at some of the author's other work, soon.